Postpartum Provisions

By Peyton Ladt Sterns September 19, 2019 

Food to have stored, read to eat, and to ask visitors to bring after you've had a baby.

Two weeks before my son was due, I decided it was time to finish my baby to-do list that I’d been procrastinating on. Specifically, I wanted to re-tool the hospital bag (must add robes, remove jeans – who am I kidding? and ouch), wash a blanket to take him home in… and make meatballs. 

Six hours after I completed my tasks, my water broke and we found ourselves in the middle of the street at one in the morning trying to decide whether or not a taxi would magically appear on this normally bustling but now eerily quiet stretch of Third Avenue, or if we should call an Uber ASAP.  Three days later, we were happily and nervously making the journey home. 

Let's go back to those meatballs. There's so much happening in those first few days and weeks at home with a newborn that meal prep seems like a thing of the past. That's why my pre-baby to-do list had the now-infamous meatballs on there - it was my desperate attempt at getting ahead of the curve. We thanked our lucky stars that we had amazing friends and family who brought us delicious meals during that time period. Also, I found that because of breastfeeding I was MUCH more hungry than I ever was while pregnant – something I hadn’t anticipated. After living through the experience, I thought I’d share my favorite postpartum provisions, tips, hacks, recipes, and general notes for personal sanity… 

 

Grab n’ Go

Between changing diapers, feedings, and attempting to take showers and get sleep when the baby is sleeping, time is of the essence and it’s a lifesaver to have food you can eat with one hand.

Lactation Cookies: I baked this lactation cookie recipe on several occasions the first few months. The first time I made them, I was so out of sorts that I forgot to add white sugar, and I actually liked the taste so much (and felt better about eating a little less sugar) that I continued to make them with only brown sugar. To each their own!

Energy Bites: These no-bake energy bites are a staple in my house whether there’s a newborn or not. The best part? If you have a partner, he or she will feel less weird about eating these energy bites than the lactation cookies (even though there’s nothing super weird in those!).

*Note one common theme in the above recipes: OATS. They can help with milk supply.

Bars Bars Bars.: RX, Cliff, Kind – we all have our preference. Whatever yours is, stock up and have them anywhere you may need them (breastfeeding causes extreme hunger out of nowhere, and we all know that hunger + time = hangry), the baby’s room, your living room, the bathroom…wherever you might find yourself needing a pick me up any time of the day (or night!).

Bananas: I’m surprised I didn’t turn into a banana after all the bananas I ate. Banana solo, banana with almond butter, banana with peanut butter, banana on toast, in smoothies! I can't explain it, I just know I ate a lot of them and I was happy to have an interminable supply.

Hard-boiled eggs: They take 10 minutes to make and then you’ll be grateful to have those on-the-go in the morning, or any time of the day. 

 

Ready to Eat

 

Muffins: Did I mention bananas yet? It doesn’t have to be banana, but having a muffin ready to go in the morning was heaven-sent. These banana muffins are so moist and delicious.

Yogurt: Just like when your little one was inside you, he or she is going to continue to suck all the nutrients out of you that it needs, which means it’s YOUR JOB to put them back into your body for YOU. Studies have shown that women often lose 3-5 percent of their bone mass during breastfeeding, although we recover it quickly after weaning. Other good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, and almonds.

Hummus: With vegetables, with pita chips, on a sandwich - whichever way you like it, it’s another easy protein-packed item to have in your fridge that’s ready to eat when you are.

 

Easy to Reheat

 

Ziti: A big shout out to my sister Emily who brought the best damn ziti I’ve ever had in my life. Not only was it delicious, but it was enough to last us for a few meals. It’s so nice to not have to think about what you’re having for dinner. She’s evolved this ziti recipe over time. Here are her suggestions: “The key thing is that this recipe is super-flexible -- if you like more or less garlic, go for it.  More or less meat, go for it. More cheese -- have at it. The key things are 1. To let the sauce cook enough to thicken and develop flavor, and 2. To season the components along the way so each is tasty on its own and not to under-season. It will not be too salty overall if each component is seasoned well (as long as they are not salty).”

Baked Oatmeal: As mentioned above, oats are GREAT for breastfeeding moms. And even if you’re not breastfeeding, it’s just wholesome and filling, and easy to add different toppings  based on your cravings. Here’s a baked oatmeal recipe we love.

Soups/Stews/Chili: If you haven’t read our recipes for warm-weather soups, you can find that here. And if it is cold out, there’s nothing wrong with going with the basics. My mother-in-law made a chicken noodle soup from scratch, and it was like a hug for the heart. 

If you haven’t picked up on this already, if someone offers to bring a meal, choose something that accomplishes the following: big portions to last you several meals and something that will still be delicious when you re-heat.

These were some of my favorites, but I’m sure you each have your own! What food or meals did you like to eat when you came home from the hospital? I will add to my list for the next one… ☺

Tell Us What You Think

  • monique knowlton says:

    Terrific job.I did not remember being hungry so I want to apologize for not sending Marcy over with food.
    The text and images are terrific. Very proud of you.Maman

  • Peyton Ladt Sterns

    Chocolate chip cookies are my spirit animal.

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